My Line in the Sand

Back in April, I wrote about my new fitness training program. It was a purely selfish reason that I did it: I didn’t want to get showed up by my “addicted to running” friend. However the side effect was that by the time I ran Bloomsday, I had lost almost 20lbs!

The afternoon after I ran Bloomsday, I flew to Seattle for work. I realized, while standing in line at the TSA without a belt, that my pants didn’t say on like they used to. Aside from the work to keep the pants up, it was a good feeling. On returning home, I got to purchase some new pants.

But soon the running and daily tracking of my eating fell apart.

I continued to monitor my weight over the summer and amazingly it is still the same as when I ran Bloomsday! That’s a positive.

So I have set a new goal. Be at 200lbs by New Years. That gives me 16 weeks from today. And I think I can do it.

This morning I weighed in at 228lbs. Sixteen weeks to loose 28lbs. At 2lbs per week, it’s an attainable goal.

Let this be my mark in the sand. From here till New Years, I’ll be tracking my progress daily online at’s Daily Plate Tracker or on my iPhone.

Want to join me? It’s free. You can sign-up today!

Bird Notes

What would it sound like to play the ‘notes’ of birds sitting on a wire? If you have wondered that before, you are not the first. Jarbas Agneilli acted on this idea when he saw a still picture and the following video is what he found.

AppleScript to Enable Web Sharing with QuickSilver

Doing a lot of development on my local machine, I am needing to having Web Sharing enabled much of the time. Web sharing is basically Apache running on your Mac. However the problem comes in that it will start several processes and keep them running, consuming valuable memory.

Enter Applescript

So I cobbled together the following Applescript, complete with Growl support, that will enable or disable Web Sharing for you, with one click!

All you have to do is download the attached file and run it.

What about making it run with Quicksilver?

Simple! Download the file and place it here:

/Users/{your username}/Library/Application Support/Quicksilver/Actions/

Now restart Quicksilver.

When it comes back up, type “Web Sharing” and hit “Enter”.

The script will execute and toggle your Web Sharing preference.

Howto Install Drush on Dreamhost

If you haven’t used Drush before (and you build Drupal websites, Drush is “a command line shell and Unix scripting interface for Drupal”. It has some amazingly useful commands for interacting with Drupal. You can do thing like:

drush dl views

And it will download and unpack the Views module into the correct folder. Then you would type:

drush enable views

And Views would be installed. Just like that. You can read the full documentation on

What about using it in Dreamhost? It’s a little different because at the time of this writing, Dreamhost does not default to PHP 5 on the command line and you have to specify it to look at PHP 5. Here are the steps to install it on your Dreamhost account.

  1. Download and Unpack Drush: First, you need to login to the shell of your Dreamhost account. In your home directory, download and unpack Drush. From the command line type:

    curl -O

    (The latest version at the time of writing.)

    Now type:

    tar -zxf drush-All-Versions-2.0.tar.gz

    You should be left with a folder called drush that contains the drush library.

  2. Get Drush on the Commandline: Now you need to make drush available to you on the command line. Open the file called .bash_profile by typing

    nano .bash_profile

    and navigate to the bottom of the screen. Enter the following line:

    alias drush='/usr/local/php5/bin/php /home/<dreamhost username>/drush/drush.php'

    (Don’t forget to replace <dreamhost username> with your Dreamhost username.) Now save the file with the keystroke CTRL + X

  3. Logout: Now type exit to logout. This will force the shell to re-read the .bash_profile file.
  4. Log Back In: Log back in and you should be ready to drush!

Sweeping the Streets

I have a neighbor who likes to sweep. Well, at least from the looks of things he does. The fact is that he sweeps a lot. He lives two doors down from us. Not only is his yard spotless, and his driveway and sidewalk are swept but he sweeps the street in front of his house. We noticed that when we first moved in, he would sweep in front of his house, then sweep in front of our next door neighbors house and then he drew a line with his broom at our property line and that is where he stopped. No further. We heard from the neighbors that he didn’t like the people that lived in our house before us. In fact we heard lots of things from the neighbors about him and we watched a lot. Other than sweeping or raking, we saw little of him.

Years ago, I worked for a former car sales man. And this guy wasn’t just your average car sales man. Mr Martin had owned a dealership that was hugely successful. He was one of the first Mercedes-Benz dealers in the USA but he didn’t stock the car. If you wanted one, you would order one and the built it just for you. When the car was finished he would lead a tour to the factory in Germany and you would pick up your car there, drive it around Europe to see the sights and then drop it off at the docks to have it shipped back to your home. It wasn’t something that happened overnight but it was hugely successful.

As his business grew, so did his pride till a series of events began to drive him back to God. Soon he had sold his business and was when I met him, he was selling lifestyle change. And he was a changed man.

One of his favorite quotes was this:

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.'” (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p 143)

And he used to tell me how Christ used the same methods to gain success as a sales man uses to sell a car. And then he would recite the Five Steps of a Sale. (from Dale Carnegie).

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Conviction
  • Desire
  • Close

He knew them like the back of his hand. In fact, it was nearly on the back of his hand because he used his fingers to remember them.

It’s true. They are nearly the same:

  • Attention: “The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good.” He got there attention.
  • Interest: “He showed His sympathy for them” He showed genuine interest in them.
  • Conviction: “ministered to their needs.” He brought them to conviction by ministering to their needs.
  • Desire: “won their confidence.” He brought them to desire by winning their confidence.
  • Close: “Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.'” Then he sealed the deal.

Wow… this is what life comes down to it. Where the rubber meets the road. I certainly want me life to be a reflection of that. A reflection of Him.

Six years have gone by and the neighbor still sweeps the street. I’ve never seen the point of sweeping the street but I’ve started doing it myself. However it’s not always convenient and I don’t always make it out there. But I try and it’s the only chance I get to talk to the neighbor.

He no longer sweeps the “line in the dirt” when he reaches our property. He usually sweeps all of our section of street too.